On Saturday, in what was the conclusion of the Sheraton Raleigh Wolfpack Invitational, the host Wolfpack fell short in the title game to Vermont by a score of 52-47. Though trailing by double-digits in both halves, the resilient experience of the Wolfpack showed as they fought back to tie the game at 47-47 with less than a minute to go. These would be the last points the Pack would score as the Catamounts would score the next 5 points to put the game away. Nikitta Gartrell led the way for the Wolfpack, posting a team high 10 points, and was aided by the efforts of Bonae Holston who added 8 points and 9 rebounds, and by Amber White with 6 points. State was hampered by 13 turnovers, allowing Vermont to claim 14 points off of them.
In the opening round on Friday night, the Wolfpack picked up a win in their season opener over Florida International 87-71. This marked the 7th straight season opening victory for the Wolfpack. NC State’s full-court pressure was too much for Florida International to handle. The Wolfpack forced 27 turnovers and almost scored half of their total points off of these turnovers. The resilient play of the Golden Panthers, cut a 21 point lead at halftime in half, but a 3-pointer from Emili Tasler ignited the Pack to go on a 12-0 run which replenished the lead, and the Wolfpack ended up winning by 16 points.
May Kotsopoulos, Vermont (MVP)
Courtney Pilypaitis, Vermont
Bonae Holston, NC State
Amber White, NC State
Marquita Adley, FIU
Miame Giden, Western Michigan
Holston averaged 14 points and 6.5 rebounds over the two games, while shooting 55%. Coming off a tremendous freshman campaign, in which she won the ACC Sixth Player of the Year Award, averaging 9.6 points and 5.7 rebounds as a reserve, Holston is expected to be an integral part of the starting lineup this season. Last season, she led all ACC Freshmen in scoring and rebounding in ACC play, averaging 12.8 points and 7.4 rebounds.
White averaged 11.5 points over the two games, while shooting 67%. Her performance this weekend had to be a boost of confidence for White, after missing all of last season with an Achilles injury.
NC State (1-1) looks to rebound at home on Tuesday night against Florida Atlantic (1-1). The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Reynolds Coliseum.